MULTAN, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 26th july, 2016) : Agriculture experts said on Tuesday that timely downpour in suitable quantity was beneficial but warned it could be counter- productive for cotton crop in case of unnecessary excessive rains. In a release issued by media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department, experts laid stress on a set of guidelines which farmers need to follow if they want to save their cotton crop from negative impact of heavy rains.
They said that farmers should immediately drain out stagnant rain water from their cotton fields to offset the negative impact. Presence of water in cotton fields for more than 24 hours stops growth and plants starts withering when it stays there for over 48 hours. Water can be diverted to nearby empty fields or a two feet wide and four feet deep strip dug at a side of the cotton field. Rains also trigger growth of weeds which share the food meant for the cotton plants and thus compromise their growth.
Weeds should be removed immediately and suitable weedicides be applied after consulting officials. Rains also provide a conducive environment to sucking pests and bollworms and farmers are needed to perform pest scouting twice a week and apply suitable pesticides after consulting officials when their incidence reaches economic threshold level (ETL). Monsoon rains usually arrive in July-August and the downpour also triggers vegetative growth that increases plants' height and causes growth sans fruit.
In case the 60-day old crop's plants attain the height above 6-9 inches and distance between white flower and top is also over six inches then farmers need to consult agriculture officials for application of two to three sprays of growth regulators after suitable durations to check unwanted vegetative growth and turn the plant to fruit growth pattern.